HUNGRY FOR THE PLAYOFFS : MacArthur Girls Ready To Fight For Postseason Berth
LAST YEAR, SHOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT.
MacArthur was seeking its first playoff berth since the 2015-2016 season and had the players to get back into the conversation. Just a few games before District 16-6A play was slated to begin, the Generals lost their court general Jada Stewart – gone for the season after tearing her ACL.
Stewart is back for her senior campaign and if first-year coach Christine Danzer could bet, she would go all-in on this year's version of MacArthur getting into the playoffs.
"I know that last year would have been a different story had we not had that injury, but I'd bet on my team if I could," Danzer, who served as an assistant the past five years, said. "This is going to be that year we're getting back. We're very confident right now."
MacArthur will be down in numbers this year, only dressing out nine players, but there is a lot of experience and upside in that mix.
Along with Stewart, the Generals return Bianca Rodriguez, Maria Ruiz, Angel "Blue" Hudson and Precious Jackson-Sanders, who played last year as a freshman.
"I'm ready to play," Stewart said. "I was sad that I couldn't play last year and I'm ready this year."
Stewart should be in the MVP conversation by season's end, but another who could battle her is Jackson-Sanders.
The sophomore averaged a double-double in district play last year and has worked on her ball-handling in the offseason.
"I've seen a huge improvement," Danzer said about Jackson-Sanders. "With her ability to go both ways, her rebounding and finishing, she could be something very special in this district. She's going to have a dynamite year."
After watching Jackson-Sanders do what she did from the bench last year, Stewart was impressed and knows what kind of weapon she is for them.
"Precious is one of our best players and she's a really strong asset to the team," Stewart said.
With this combination of talent, experience and youthfulness, Danzer's goal for this group is simple – make the playoffs.
"Our goal is that we're hungry to get back to the playoffs," she said. "I think we can make some noise if we're able to get out of our own district."